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Why you should visit Frontier Homestead State Park Museum

(Todd Prince/Frontier Homestead State Park Museum)


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CEDAR CITY — Located off Main Street in Cedar City, the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum allows people to explore the rich history of Iron County.

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum was established as a state park in 1973 and is an “undiscovered treasure” in Utah, according to Frontier Homestead State Park Museum park manager Todd Prince. It was initially named Iron Mission State Park in honor of the early iron foundry and production in the area, according to the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum website.

When iron ore was discovered in Southern Utah by early settlers, LDS Church leader Brigham Young asked volunteers to colonize the Cedar City area and begin mining that ore in 1850, the website said. The iron foundry was initially successful, but eventually closed in 1858.

The museum was created to “preserve and interpret the history” and is open year-round, the website said. It offers information and demonstrations of the early iron production, history of early settlers and horse-drawn transportation in Iron County, according to a Frontier Homestead State Park Museum news release.

The museum and homestead exhibits include an “extensive horse-drawn wagon collection,” a Native American village, a sawmill and a replica of a blast furnace used in early iron production, the Utah State Parks website said. The Native Heritage exhibit is a new addition to the state park and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the lifestyle of Paiute and Fremont Indians in the area. Visitors can explore a Fremont pithouse, Paiute wickiups, replica prehistoric village mounds and learn archaeology techniques.

The state park also offers several hands-on activities throughout the year including making pioneer crafts, tours of the cemetery, a Christmas at the Homestead celebration and a “Sheep-to-Shawl” activity that includes sheep shearing and wool weaving.

In 2014, the state park launched a new mobile tour application to help visitors learn more about the artifacts and exhibits at their own pace. The mobile tour offers almost 60 stops with 27 stops inside the museum and 33 on the park grounds.

“We want to tell the story of each of the stops within the museum by looking deeper into the history of a particular topic than traditional signage alone would allow,” Prince said in a news release. “The tour is an excellent opportunity to provide historic background, add intriguing details and tell the special stories that make each stop memorable.”

The entrance fee to the state park is $3 per person. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Pets are allowed at the state park, but must be kept on a leash.

Here is a full list of activities offered in 2015:

  • Tuesdays Weekly Storytime: every Tuesday 10-10:30 a.m., free

  • March 28: Sheep to Shawl, activities and time TBA

  • May 2: Archaeology Day, activities and time TBA

  • May 5 – June 27: Clayton Rippey special art exhibit, regular entrance fee

  • June 26-27: Groovefest Music and Art Festival, Cedar City Main Street Park, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.,

  • July 1 – Aug. 30: Southern Utah Watercolor Society special exhibit, regular entrance fee

  • Sept. 1 – Oct. 31: Travis Humphreys special art exhibit, regular entrance fee

  • Oct. 16-22: Haunted Homestead

  • Oct. 15: More Than Ghost Stories: Paranormal Investigations in Southern Utah, 7 p.m., free

  • Oct. 20: Cemetery Tours, at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., free

  • Oct. 21: Homestead Paranormal Investigation, 7-9pm, $5.00/person (pre-registration required)

  • Oct. 24: Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival - hands-on pioneer activities at Cross Hollows

  • Oct. 25: Cowboy Church, 10-11 a.m., free

  • Nov. 7: Iron Mission Days - Special community day of living history/pioneer craft

  • Dec. 4-5: Homestead Christmas Market, times TBA – art, crafts, and food

  • Dec. 7-12: Christmas at the Homestead, 5:30-8:00 p.m. each night, activities TBA, $5 per family

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Faith Heaton Jolley

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